Transgender people will not be able to participate in the matches of the international women’s rugby league until the a “total inclusion policy”announced on Tuesday, June 21, the International Rugby League (IRL), which leads the international rugby league.
Until this policy is completed, “Players changed from men to women cannot take part in international women’s rugby matches”said the IRL in a statement.
This announcement comes two days after the International Swimming Federation (FINA) decided to create one “open class” to allow transgender athletes to compete separately. According to these rules, men’s competition would be open to everyone. On the other hand, athletes who have been born male and become female will only be able to compete in the FINA women’s categories, or set women’s world records, if they became women before puberty.
FINA’s decision came when the world of swimming was shaken by a controversy over transgender American swimmer Lia Thomas. The 22-year-old male-born student had become the first transgender swimmer to win a college degree in the spring. His victory in mid-March in the 500-yard (457-meter) final had opened a wide-ranging debate, with his detractors believing that after competing as a man in the past, Lia Thomas benefited from an advantage. physiologically unfair.
“Everyone can play our sport”
IRL authorities have said they need more consultations and investigations to finalize a new policy for 2023, citing “Legal, reputational and welfare risk” game and players. They cited the International Olympic Committee’s 2021 decision that allowed each sport to determine how athletes could have a “disproportionate advantage”.
“The IRL reaffirms its belief that the rugby league [à XIII] it’s a game for everyone and everyone can play our sport “, she said. The IRL considered that it was responsible for achieving a balance between the right to participate of each player and the risk perceived by the other players, as well as “Ensuring that everyone receives a fair hearing”.
Athletics also wonders
The president of the International Athletics Federation, Sebastian Coe, said his “The responsibility is to protect the integrity of women’s sport”on rules for transgender athletes participating in women’s events.
“If we have to adjust the protocols in the future, we will”he added, specifying that if he was forced to choose between “equity” i “inclusion”would line up “Always on the side of justice.”
Sebastian Coe, present at the current World Swimming Championships in Budapest on Sunday, commented on the International Swimming Federation’s decision to create an “open category” to allow transgender athletes to compete separately.
“We see an international federation asserting its supremacy in establishing the rules, regulations and policies that are in the best interests of its sport.” he declared. “It simply came to our notice then. We have always believed, and we keep repeating, that biology outweighs gender, and we will continue to review our standards accordingly. »
According to the rules of the International Athletics Federation, transgender women must have low enough testosterone levels for at least twelve months before a competition.
The governing body said it is working with the eight finalists of the 2021 Women’s Rugby League World Cup for a “Future policy for the inclusion of transgender women in 2023”considering the “unique features” rugby league.